Walk in Hong Kong – SoHo & Lan Kwai Fong
A walk through the lively party streets of Hong Kong’s SOHO and Lan Kwai Fong areas.
SoHo (Chinese: 蘇豪; also 荷南 and 荷南美食區; formally 中環蘇豪區) is an area of Hong Kong located on the western edge of Central, bordering Sheung Wan, known for its bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. The name is derived from its location: South of Hollywood Road.
The Central–Mid-Levels escalator was built in 1993; the now vibrant character of SoHo is attributed to the creation of the escalator system, which at the time was the longest escalator system in the world. Prior to the escalator construction, the area was populated by many elderly locals, old go-downs and porcelain shops.
The area now consists of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, art galleries and antique stores of Staunton Street and Elgin Street. SoHo also is home to the first full-time comedy club in Asia, The TakeOut Comedy Club Hong Kong. Hong Kong taxi drivers usually regard “SoHo” to mean either Staunton Street or Elgin Street.
Buildings in the SoHo area are a mix of commercial/residential, with the commercial businesses on the lower floors, and residential above the First Floors. Around the same time the Mid-Levels Escalator was built, a few foreigners started to move into the area, taking up both commercial premises and renting flats. At the time the flats were cheaper than other expat areas in Hong Kong, and only a few minutes’ walk from the business district.
Lan Kwai Fong (often abbreviated as LKF) is a small square of streets in Central, Hong Kong. The area was dedicated to hawkers before the Second World War, but underwent a renaissance in the mid-1980s. It is now a popular expatriate haunt in Hong Kong for drinking, clubbing and dining. The street Lan Kwai Fong is L-shaped with two ends joining with D’Aguilar Street.
Lan Kwai Fong as an area is defined by D’Aguilar Street and the smaller lane, Lan Kwai Fong, an L-shaped, cobble-stoned lane. Both streets turn 90 degrees to form a rectangle. It is near the Mid-Levels. Its eating and drinking establishments are considered upmarket in price and the area is also considered a tourist spot.
From the west side of the rectangle, Wo On Lane and Wing Wah Lane extend to host several more spots for drinks and food. The area arguably extends to Wellington Street and Wyndham Street, through to the Hong Kong Fringe Club. It is also home to a small number of art galleries.